Yogurt, spices and nuts. Elegant, naughty and basic. This Chicken Korma recipe actually reminds me that one time when all we wanted was an easy prepping and no hair-triggered meal.
I’m not even trying to draw the longbow, but for something that’s beautifully rounded off by all the goodness,…
This one is just the cracker, folks.
Is Korma a curry?
Yes, Korma is a Curry dish which is rooted in North India. Derived from Urdu culture, it’s also known as qorma, khorma, kurma, kormah or qovurma, which all mean “braise” – pretty obviously to tell about the technique employed to make this dish.
And a North India goodness as well
Developed on the Mughlai cuisine, Chicken Korma truly depicts the traditional regional culinary custom of North India, as its distinctive flavor always varies from extremely mild to spicy hot – thanks to the combination of fresh spices.
Mughlai cuisine consists of all the entrees and main courses where the meat is brought to moist heat and then slowly cooked with liquids (meat broth or water) after being seared over high heat. These dishes usually call for plenty of other side items. So, much as I can tell, Chicken Korma shows no huge differences at all. Its richness is also braised from both the creamy paste and the earthy kicks of spices and veggies.
What is in Korma curry paste?
Korma sauce is a thick gravy, curry paste made from Greek yogurt, tomato paste, fresh ground spices, pureed almonds and then lightened with Greek yogurt or creams.
For Korma Chicken, the fiery aroma of curry dishes is still there, but no longer accompanied by the crazy hot heat spiciness (God bless you, those with spice intolerance). You can always make second thoughts about adding chilli in later. It’s indeed an incredibly easy and delicious dish, especially when siding it with freshly chopped chillies and steamed rice or naan.
Additionally, dry fruits like raisins or other kinds of nuts like cashew are most likely favored if a lightly mild and sweet sauce is what you’re aiming for.
Endless possibilities for substitutions
I must say the long list of spices for Chicken Korma and the amount of fat within the dish do vary customarily, from household to household at least.
In some states, people usually prefer their staples to taste bolder and creamier, so thickened milk might even be added along with the cream. I myself chose to reduce fat at its best, so instead of full cream or heavy cream, I went straight for Greek yoghurt. If you still wish to keep the rich and buttery aftertaste but don’t want to sacrifice your lean dieting plan, coconut milk or ghee would be the finest choices (not that I haven’t been there, obviously, where your food itch turns to some kind of an ache, yuck…)
And yet, I wouldn’t suggest you to dumb your ingredient list down too far (same as this Oven baked chicken breast thing that I’ve been so wordy about recently hehe). Fat is the very bare essential for the flavors of this dish, so don’t you ditch it – or else you could call it anything but ‘Chicken Korma’.
As per Asian-accustomed way of experiencing food, chilli powder is often included too. But stay sane – you could totally make it a lighter curry by limiting the spicy garam masala and paprika while doubling the veggies instead (carrots, potatoes and so on – you name it).
Chicken Korma Recipe
- 12 oz skinless boneless chicken thigh medium, cut into 1.2-inch chunks
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tbsp freshly grated ginger
- 3 tsp garlic 2 cloves
- 1 tbsp garam masala
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 3/4 cup Greek yogurt
- 1/2 cup almonds
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp ground cardamom
- 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
- 2 tsp curry powder
- 1 tbsp canola oil
- 3 tbsp butter
- 5.3 oz yellow onion 1 medium, chopped
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup chicken stock
- Cashews, red pepper flakes, parsley and slices of jalapeño for garnish
- Add the following into a food processor: tomato paste, grated ginger, garlic, garam masala, salt, turmeric, almonds, paprika, cardamom, crushed red pepper, and curry powder. Turn it on at high speed to puree the mixture until completely smooth.
- Put the chicken chunks in a large bowl, pour in the above mixture, Greek yogurt and stir well.
- Cover with cling film and put it under refrigeration for at least 1 hour (we recommend marinating overnight).
- Preheat a large skillet over medium-high heat.
- Add canola oil, butter and stir until the butter melts. Sauteé the chopped onions for 4 minutes until caramelized.
- Add the chicken thigh to the skillet and cook for 5 minutes.
- Pour in the chicken stock and scrape the bottom of the skillet to get all of the flavors fused within the sauce. Cook for 2 minutes.
- Pour in heavy cream and keep stirring for another 1 minutes so the chicken absorbs the juice perfectly. Turn off the heat.
- You should get the marination set for at least an hour, so manage to prep it before work or better still, a day ahead.
- It’s very easy for the spices to get overly-toasted and give your Korma Chicken an unpleasant bitter flavor. You can avoid the problem by going for fresh whole spices.